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Owl 360 serves as a third eye for cyclists

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September 15, 2011

The Owl 360 is a rearview camera and monitor system for bicycles

The Owl 360 is a rearview camera and monitor system for bicycles

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What do cars have that bicycles don't? Lots and lots of things, actually, but one of those is a rearview mirror. While both cyclists and drivers have to shoulder check when changing lanes, cyclists additionally have to twist all the way around in order to see what's directly behind them. Helmet- and handlebar-mounted side mirrors are certainly one way to minimize that twisting, but for people who like stuff, there's another - mini rearview camera and monitor systems. Cerevellum has just started taking orders for one called the Hindsight, which now has a competitor known as the Owl 360.

The Owl consists of a CMOS video camera that attaches to the bike's seatpost, and a 3.5-inch monitor that attaches to the handlebars. A cord connects the two devices. The monitor contains a 3.7-volt lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, that powers both the monitor and camera for a reported five hours per charge. The handlebar mounting bracket has a hot shoe connection, so the monitor can easily be removed before the bike is left unattended.

The camera is surrounded by a ring of ten red LEDs, which will automatically start flashing when the built-in light sensor notices that it's getting dark outside. Both the camera and monitor are said to be weather-resistant and vibration-protected.

Consumers can expect to pay US$179.99 for the Owl 360 when it hits stores, although it is available now for preorder via the company website.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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9 Comments

Waste of money imo. You can see perfectly fine behind yourself on a bicycle without even a rear-view mirror, let alone a camera rig for nearly 200 dollars.

Charles Gaines
16th September, 2011 @ 06:56 am PDT

Charles, do you literally have eyes in the back of your head or can you twist your head around like an owl?

alcalde
16th September, 2011 @ 11:01 am PDT

Show me the video quality- this sounds like fun.

Carlos Grados
16th September, 2011 @ 06:52 pm PDT

Good idea!... but make it a helmet mounted unit for mobility and security.

You could use a small eyebrow screen for viewing with your helmet on.

You do ride with a helmet don't you?

Pres
16th September, 2011 @ 09:36 pm PDT

alcalde you can also turn your eyeballs.

Slowburn
17th September, 2011 @ 12:18 am PDT

Pres,

Sort of like this, but with video?

http://www.gizmag.com/go/2430/

This wouldn't be necessary if helmet manufacturers would integrate side-view mirrors into their products so they wouldn't look like geeky add-ons. Cars have long since made their mirrors stylish, flowing, color-matched extensions of the fenders or A-pillars so the same could be done with helmet mirrors. It would go a long way toward eliminating the stigma of helmet-mounted mirrors that stick out like a sore thumb. I don't understand why the companies couldn't do it with at least their urban/commuter-oriented models like the Bell Metro or Citi. But even racing helmets with mirrors could provide a benefit. Bicycle racers would be able to discreetly keep an eye on the competition behind them without having to twist around to look.

Gadgeteer
17th September, 2011 @ 01:20 pm PDT

Ideal for velomobiles- especially enclosed ones. Rain and snow are coming; but what do I know.....

Chris Jordan
17th September, 2011 @ 03:05 pm PDT

Curious if helmet-mounted mirrors cause injuries when people fall and hit their heads? Anyway, this thing is anti-bike: Too complicated, too dependent on batteries... and do the rear lights blink in red?

Mirrors are useful for older persons and others who don't have as much flexibility (combined with balance issues).

Todd Edelman
18th September, 2011 @ 08:55 am PDT

$200 for those who don't know how to "read" a mirror image? send in Darwinism please...

Walt Stawicki
19th September, 2011 @ 04:28 pm PDT
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